As soon as I got home from work, I attacked the basement. "Attacked" seems about the right word: ooog.
After about two hours of scraping, hammering, and chiseling, I'd say I'm about a third of the way to "as good as it gets" on the eastern wall. Haven't really started on the northern wall, but since I sealed the interior wall, most of the water is coming from the east anyway.
I've decided that I was, in fact, chiseling at some of the original foundation concrete. Oops. What I appear to have on the leaking seam is this:
Top layer: Water proof paint, probably applied by sellers.
Second layer: Cement, probably also applied by sellers, prior to applying paint
Third layer: Older paint, or maybe plaster, used to fill large gaps and holes rather than painted on as an even coat.
Fourth layer: Some other kind of cement, or clay, maybe, applied to fill holes. Possibly, this is even the original foundation, but corroded somehow.
Bottom layer: Original foundation, somewhat reminscent of swiss cheese at this point, with the many holes filled by the above gunk.
The rest of the wall has been going more easily. I don't know whether it's because I didn't rip the next sections up with a wire brush, or because I gave up trying to chisel to the flat floor that I expected to see but which does not, in fact exist. Who knows -- I might even be getting better at using a chisel. But whatever the reason, I've been able to pull up large chunks of the latest work at once. And the layering effect has been a lot more obvious. The most annoying part has been working around the water and gas pipes that are a few inches above the floor and up against the wall. I'm rather worried I'm going to hit something wrong and damage one of those. Must be very careful.
Second most annoying is that chiseling is such noisy work I can't even phone anyone for company.
After two hours, I was, frankly, exhausted. Chiseling is hard work! I came upstairs, ate dinner, and did some reading. I planned to work on some writing tonight and give the chiseling a rest, but now I'm thinking of going back at it. Now that I've got so much of the old gunk cleared away, I have a lot of water coming in through the wall. So it'd be nice to finish the clearing process and be able to stem the tide again.
Had I known that I'd end up digging out not only every bit of recent work on this wall, but work that's probably years old aimed at stopping the same problem, I would've called a professional from the start. But I'm at this curious stage where I feel too invested in the process to give up now. After all, I've got this cement and chisels and I've come this far. Besides, having dug out several cubic inches of my basement floor, I feel too embarrassed to call someone in the middle of it and have them take one look and say "Good Lord, woman! What have you done?" Even if the cement doesn't stop the leaking, at least it'll look better than the swiss-cheese floor I've got now. Oog.
But I have the money now to afford a professional (probably -- the consensus seems to be that it'd be a couple thousand dollars. And I have a strong suspicion that, eventually, I willneed to get professional assistance to solve this permanently.
Yet, somehow, I can't quite make myself stop this DIY kick.
I think I'll go whack some more at that floor now.